Heart failure carries significant morbidity and mortality burden, with median survival from onset of symptoms been reported as low as 1.7 years among men and 3.2 years among women. It is the only major cardiovascular disease which is increasing in incidence and prevalence. There are several reasons for this including general aging of the population, improved outcomes from acute cardiovascular disease, and worsening risk factor profile in United States including increasing obesity and diabetes trends. Heart failure is also widely prevalent, with a reported prevalence of about 5 million people in the United States. A wide variety of demographic characteristics, life style factors, comorbidites, pharmacologic exposures, biochemical markers, echocardiographic parameters, and genetic markers have been linked to heart failure risk. Several risk factors such as increasing age, male gender, and prior MI are well established with respect to new onset heart failure chances whereas others risk factors such as many of the genetic markers are more recently discovered and need to undergo further evaluation to assess their association. This review article outlines the current state of the literature on risk factors for developing heart failure.